Reid Alexander is a 24-year-old man from Colorado who battled kidney disease before meeting Rafael Diaz, 28, who would become her husband. Here, Alexander recounts their journey as a couple and expresses his thanks to Diaz for changing his life. It has been an eventful year since I first met Rafael on Tinder. In a few months, I had a soul mate and a husband. Then, thanks to him, I received another gift that has changed my life so much, we slipped straight to Tinder in August of last year. Like the millennial, we immediately shared our Snapchats, then our phone numbers. Two weeks later, we had our first date - a walk in our local park in Denver, where we lived. Since then, we have beenOn our second date Rafael was making tacos and salsa verde at my house, and I told him to take it easy with the salt. This is how he found out that I had the alport syndrome , a genetic condition that causes permanent damage to the blood vessels in the kidneys. I had it since I was 17 and by the time I met it my kidneys were only 20% working. I had a long list of foods that I couldn't eat - anything with too much sodium, potassium, or phosphorus. One morning Rafael saw the 15 pills that I swallowed daily to maintain my kidney function. He was stunned when he realized how bad it was. Then he looked for the disease. His first words after that: Well, okay, it's serious. Over a year after that first date, we're mystaying with my parents in Kokomo, Indiana, recovering together after surgeons transplanted one of Rafael's kidneys into my body. Rafael marvels at how amazing it is to give someone the chance to have a healthy future. Near 107,000 people nationwide need a vital organ transplant . I was so lucky to have mine for the love of my life. I was hesitant at first. But Rafael was not He and I have had days filled with fears and tears. But there was also love, laughter and lots of home cooked food. Throughout the effects of my illness - hearing loss, swollen calves and low energy, among others - Rafael stayed by my side. In September, about a month after meeting him, I was about to have an operation for a fistulath arm - a procedure that connects an artery to a vein for dialysis. It was the first time that the idea of being a donor crossed Rafael 's mind. When he mentioned it, I first said no. I lat uh, I went on dialysis three times a week, and we were scheduling our appointments accordingly. My dialysis sessions started around 5:30 a.m. and each lasted about four hours, or 12 hours per week. It was enough for Rafael. He decided to initiate the process to see if he was a compatible donor. He didn't even think much about the decision. He said: Let's do it! You need it! Rafael Diaz, at Left and Reid Alexander had surgery almost a year after the day they met .One night in February we had dinner at an Italian restaurant when Rafael went to the back and asked them to play Adele's song. , Make You Feel My Love. When the rain blows on your face And the whole world is on your case I could offer you a warm kiss To make you feel my love .... Then it 'sknelt down and proposed. We started testing right after our wedding In April we had a small wedding in a park in suburban Denver in Littleton to save money for kidney procedures. Not the big wedding we originally envisioned. On our wedding day, I got a call saying there was a kidney available for me in Indianapolis. Someone needed to go to someone's house immediately, but I was 1,000 miles away, so that didn't happen. They contacted me because I had spent most of my life in a small town in Indiana and was enrolled in Indiana University Health. Three days after our wedding, Rafael officially started testing to become my kidney donor. (Out of approximately 6,000 living donor transplants per year in the United States, nearly 800 are from a spouse or partner). By then, I've been on a transplant list for a year. To a your friend Andrew Zimmern 's sober sherpa We both worked in a restaurant in Denver and the thought of being out of work at the same time made me uncomfortable. day Rafael received an email saying he could be my donor. Two surgeons and a nephrologist from Indiana University Health were ready to perform the operation. When he Told me, I thought he was joking. Overwhelmed by the news, we both started to cry. This August, almost a year since we first met , Rafael underwent a three hour surgery at Indiana University Health to remove his right kidney. Then I had a three hour transplant shortly after.We were recovering on different floors and we didn't see each other for a day, but we did clash a lot on FaceTime. On the second day, Rafael told the nurses, You take me in the wheelchair to see my husband, or I go myself. That's what they did. Now we are recovering from the surgery. My body is already feeling better Over a month later, we are still recovering at my parents' house in Indiana. We will be here for approximately three months of follow-up, then our case will be transferred to our local hospital outside of Denver. Our friends have raised money to help us pay for health costs and expenses, like the rent for our apartment in Denver, since we are not working not both. The day after their surgery at Indiana Health University, Diaz insisted that nurses take her to her husband. A life-changing transplant. My body feelsdifferent, and so much better. My energy levels are h higher too. Now we can hike and camp in the Colorado mountains - things I was too tired to do before. I have never been in the morning, but this operation was a game-changer. I'm the one who gets up early now and starts the day. And my diet isn't that restricted anymore. Before, I mainly survived on rice and vegetables. I couldn't eat mac and cheese, one of my favorite dishes, but I can finally enjoy it now. I can also cook Rafael's favorite food - Alfredo pasta, with lots of Parmesan - and we can both eat it. Before the operation, he was selfless and only ate what I could eat. We do it all together. And, like Rafael said, we make each other laugh al l the time. When you get on the transplant list, they tell you to prepare for waits.re five years old. The idea that I would have a kidney in a year was the furthest thing on my mind. I never would have thought that I would move across the country and meet the love of my life - and that he would end up being my kidney donor too. Rafael and I now have the chance to build our life together . I loved him so much before, and I love him even more now. I don't know what I could do to thank him enough. He gave me more than love. He gave me a future.